Wednesday 28 November 2012

"Dance With Your City"

Remember the music video with the four guys dancing on a set of treadmills?

The song is called Here It Goes Again, and the name of the band is OK Go. (The name came from an art teacher always saying "Okay... go!" when a couple of them were kids at school, drawing).

What's interesting about OK Go is that they understand the way the world has changed, better than many filmmakers. In 2005, they placed a "stupid home video" of the band, dancing, on a website. This was before YouTube. The clip was downloaded 300,000 times, compared with 285,000 sales of their first album. The band's famous treadmill video attracted a million YouTube views within days. The record label failed to see the opportunity and they parted company with the band.

OK Go have sold more than 700,000 albums. Their videos have been viewed more than 150 million times online, and many more times in museums, galleries, classrooms, and at film, theater, and arts festivals. Recent projects include an interactive video made with the Pilobolus dance company; a live album chronicling 180 concerts played in a single year; performances at the Kennedy Center, the Glastonbury Festival, and Lollapalooza; and collaborations with the Muppets and Sesame Street.

Here is the lead singer, Damian Kulash, talking about their approach to the business.

The thing I really wanted to show you, though, is the following video. It documents the 8.5-mile parade OK Go and 100 friends took through Los Angeles. The point? To create a psycho-spatial-geo-musical-techno-sonic parade-party. They used Range Rover's Pulse of the City app to check in and spell out the words "OK GO" with the route.

Which reminded me of The Beatles' impromptu final gig in January 1969, played out on the rooftop of the headquarters of Apple Records, at 3 Savile Row, London. At the time, The Beatles were recording their album, Let It Be. They played various tracks from that, including “Get Back,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” “I’ve Got A Feeling,” “One After 909,” “Danny Boy,” “Dig A Pony” and another version of “Get Back.”

The session ended with the police shutting down the show (for noise violation). John Lennon closed with the famous sentence, “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition.”

Can't help wondering what The Beatles would have done with the internet.

Seeing we've come this far, here's the available footage of The Beatles' rooftop concert.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Amazing! Those guys are not only artistically brave, they are physically brave. And yet for all their originality, it was heartening to hear the leader state: "novelty is an ugly brown colour", meaning, don't do empty things just to chase newness.